Cutaneous miliary tuberculosis in two patients with HIV infection.J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004 May; 50(5 Suppl):S110-3.JA
Cutaneous manifestations of miliary tuberculosis are rare. We report two patients with previously unknown advanced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, who presented with respiratory collapse and an erythematous papulopustular skin eruption. Skin biopsies demonstrated focal dermal microabscess in one patient, and a subcorneal vesicle with an underlying dermal microabscess in the other. Despite the lack of granulomatous inflammation, acid-fast bacilli (AFB) and Fite stains demonstrated numerous acid-fast bacilli, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis was subsequently isolated in either skin and/or sputum cultures. Pulmonary involvement was present in both cases, but was sufficiently diffuse and atypical so as not to be specific for tuberculosis upon initial clinical and radiographic examination. Our two cases illustrate the importance of careful skin examination in patients with HIV infection, since cutaneous dissemination can be an easily overlooked sign of miliary tuberculosis.